Cherry Blossom 10 Mile: Race Recap

I got up at 6, ate breakfast and headed down to the race start, which was about one mile from my hotel. I was going to wear shorts, but it was about 45 degrees and a little windy outside, so at the last minute I opted for pants. I wore my iFitness belt, which has a bib holder, and my Chica Band in Zebra. I felt like I was heading for a safari.

Like I said before, the race started out packed inside a corral with thousands of other people. I was lucky to be in the RED wave, which was the second wave to go after the elites. This still didn't keep me from avoiding spending what I thought would be my first mile passing people, passing people*...wondering when the crowd will thin out and I could get an even pace going.  It turned out to be never. There were a few people that I kept pace with the entire time; one guy in particular who had Vibrams and a Philadelphia Marathon shirt on (thanks guy!)

Race Start
The course was nice and flat, but it was very windy, which made it harder. I decided to not carry water this time, as I thought that there would be plenty of water stops. What I didn't calculate in was the fact that there would also be thousands of people vying for the same tiny cup of water. I ended up skipping the first one and barely getting a drink at the second one. Note to self: Carry water. Every time. Even if it means carrying it but not drinking it.
10 Mile Race Course
As you can see from the map, the race started and ended at the Washington Monument, and then looped around to the Lincoln before going across the Memorial Bridge. The entire time I was running on the median, trying to pass people. On the bridge there was a concrete sidewalk, but up until then it was grass. I didn't care. I was trying to find my pace.

The rest of the race, I have to admit, was kind of a blur. I remember the shirts of the people near me. Like I said, the Philadelphia guy was near me most of the time. There were also a couple of DC RnR Marathon shirts. I guess I didn't really look around me very much becuase I don't even remember passing the Lincoln memorial, and I passed it twice!

At mile 9 an older gentleman went down hard! Everyone was calling for a medic, waving their arms at passing cars and yelling at onlookers to call 911. It was quite the fiasco. I hope that guy was okay. It was really scary. It made me cry a little to think of a) something scary like that happening to anyone and b) the overwhelming support. Everyone was doing what they could, race times be damned. It was very heartwarming.

After making sure that situation was taken care of, we only had one mile left. It went really fast, since most of the spectators were concentrated near the start/finish line and were cheering for us as we went UPHILL to the finish. I swear, this course was not very hilly at all, but the biggest hill was in the last half mile.

I crossed the finish line feeling good. I probably could have run a little faster, but finding my pace was pretty much impossible. I felt like I was bobbing and weaving the entire time. Afterward, I got the obligatory "I finished" photo (the guy cut off the top of the WA monument though!), grabbed a couple of bottles of water, a banana and a muffin (the only options) and went back to my hotel for a hot shower. I was still pretty cold and walking the mile back to my hotel did little to warm me up.

I have no legs
The funniest part is that I was telling my boyfriend how glad I was that I never had to pee during the race and he said that I could just pee on the grass if I needed to (jokingly, of course). BUT NO. You can't! It says so right in the rules. (click to zoom)

It says, "Please use only the 200 porta-potties to "relieve yourselves" before and after the race. Please do not even think of fouling the Washington Monument Grounds or the National Mall. Violations of this common-sense rule will jeopardize use of the course in the future as well." 

Hey, it doesn't say anything about not peeing on the grass DURING the race.

Here are the numbers. Funny enough, mile 1 was the slowest. Usually it's my fastest mile. Mile 10 was the fastest, which is often the case. I am like a horse to the stables. Plus, I really run it out for the last tenth or twentieth of a mile. 

Mile 1: 7:55
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:28
Mile 4: 7:26
Mile 5: 7:40
Mile 6: 7:30
Mile 7: 7:39
Mile 8: 7:39
Mile 9: 7:31
Mile 10: 7:06

*My Garmin actually measured the course as a little long (10.13 miles). This may or may not have been due to the fact that I went up on the median (grass) quite a few times in the beginning in order to attempt to pass people.

Time: 1:16:13 (a new PR!)
Average: 7:38 pace
Women: 503/9699
Age Group: 113/2220
Overall: Unknown

Don't forget to go over to Jill's to check out the other Fitness Friday posts! 

Have you ever peed in a public place?  Have you ever had to call 911?


  1. Gosh you are speedy! I am just impressed by how fast you have gotten over the last year!!

    I have never and will never urinate in public! Yuck! And that's hard for a lady to do. I can't even make myself go in the ocean - seriously. My body just won't let me.

    At the MSP marathon, you start downtown, run maybe a half mile and then hit this open road that will lead to the lakes. And inevitably, as soon as people get out of downtown and on this open road, the guys all urinate. It's quite a sight to see. I think there were probably 15-20 guys lined up, urinating, when I ran the marathon. Weird!

  2. Nice splits! I do think the little uphill at the end of CB is just cruel! But I otherwise love that race, and this is from someone who hates big races. Something about that one.

    And pee in public? More times than I can count!

  3. Congrats on the new pr! I fear we will never run together as I am WAY slower than you are. At least I have something to aspire to!

  4. 10 mile races are one of my favorites - and it looks like this one is one that needs to be on my list since I've never been to DC before!

    Congrats on the new PR!

  5. Sounds like a great event. Laughing at the rules - clearly it has happened and that is why it is there.

  6. You rocked it even though you had to bob and weave! Yes, I have pee'd in public pre race before when the "smart" people only had about 15 port a potties for 5000 women. Really? Done it while hiking too when I had a 16oz mocha before the hike. Smart!

  7. Wow, what a strong finish! Great race-- you'd make a great running buddy, we're very similarly paced! But I always run my first mile slowest, and pick it up with each mile. Works best for me, and looks like it worked well for you, too!

  8. Awesome splits!!! ha no peeing in the grass I can't believe they made that a rule, would they DQ you or the police would just come get you?

  9. Congrats on a great race! Nice job on the new PR :-)

  10. Being in the last wave did have the benefit of not being smushed with so many people. I wore capris, and I froze until mile 4. When I wanted to die. Because OMG TEN MILES IS SO FAR.

    Also. Aly and I laughed so hard about that thing on the rules page. Like, "please don't soil the sacred ground of our capitol!".

  11. Aw c'mon - rules are meant to be broken; like a little pee is going to harm the grass which is assaulted by car exhaust and winter salt ! Nice race.

    Peed in a public place ? I guess only a woman would ask that ;-)

    Europe has (had ?) public urinals (men only) right on the sidewalk in some cities. Bit of a weird feeling standing there peeing on the sidewalk (well, behind a bit of a barrier).

    Happy Easter.

  12. Congrats on the PR! I'm awed by your pace despite having to bob and weave :)

    The porta potty plea is hilarious! Peeing in public? Yes but only, of course, when it is absolutely absolutely without a doubt necessary!

  13. wow, you are super speedy!! Great job!! :)

  14. I am originally from DC and my Uncle Dexter actually ran the race with you! I love DC in the spring! I have actually peed in the parking lot before before a run! I felt so ashamed but I really had to go!!

    KEF @ LGIFit!

  15. HOLY MOLEY SPEED DEMON! WOWSA - you are crazy, crazy crazy fast. When I grow up, I wanna be like you girl! Congrats!

    xoxo from the Houston airport...i'm almost home

  16. Two observations:
    (1) What is it with DC races putting hills towards the end (Marine Corps Marathon was the same way). I swear there is some local race organizer who laughs his/her ass off while watching the last mile of the race!
    (2) Damn, girl, you're fast!
    Congrats on your finish!

  17. Congratulations on the new PR! I'm always impressed with your speed! The fact that they have to specifically tell people not to "relieve themselves" means someone did that and now they have to tell people not to.


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